| Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Playstation 3) |
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a prequel to the classic Deus Ex series of games that included the original title and its sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War. This entry begins in 2027 during a turbulent time when augmentation technology is first becoming widespread. Players take on the role of Adam Jensen, who is the head of security for one of the world's leading biotech companies Sarif Industries.
Unfortunately, on the night when Sarif is about to unveil a major breakthrough that will revolutionize the aug industry a team of mercenaries attack the lab and kill several of Sarif's top scientists (including Adam's girlfriend) before Adam finally confronts them. He puts up a good fight, but the modified super soldiers easily overwhelm him.
Adam is put into critical condition and has to be augmented himself to survive his grievous injuries. The prologue ends with him returning to work six months later, desperate to find out what happened that night Sarif was attacked and who the people who killed his girlfriend Megan are working for.
One feature that became apparent to me right away was that several actions taken during the game had drastic and unforeseen consequences later on. Depending on which characters lived or died could affect how much support the player would get during missions and even simple dialog choices could have unexpected results. Because of this even minor mistakes could cost the player greatly by reducing the already limited resources they have at their disposal, but also makes the game more challenging and helps draw the player in because every decision made is important.
The game is mostly linear, but a few hubs of exploration are sprinkled throughout the story to provide additional rewards and character interactions that relate to the overall story. One early sidequest has Jensen uncover details about Megan's death for her mother and another has him assist an old friend with catching an elusive criminal.
How the player goes about these quests is up to them and the rewards may change depending on how well they do, often with additional items or money being offered for completing extra optional objectives. The game also encourages exploration even in its linear levels by hiding useful things around the environment and providing many chances to learn more about the world and its characters.
As Adam levels up he unlocks points that can be used to unlock his suppressed augment abilities. Special kits that automatically grant a single point can be bought in certain stores, but are both very expensive and only available in limited quantities. The player won't get the chance to unlock every ability and bonus in a single playthrough, but still have plenty of chances to max out skills that fit their play style.
Different perks work very well with one another and there are always several options available for each objective. The game puts a heavy focus on stealth, but with the right upgrades even full frontal assaults are a viable choice to overcome the opposition.
The game is mostly fair in its treatment of gender with several characters of both sexes being found on each side of the morality line. The only people the player is forced to kill are the bosses, of which there are four: two men and two women, an even split. The only real problem I noticed was an ongoing theme of victimization in many of the sidequests. Several of them task the player with helping a woman who has gotten into trouble with or is being harassed in some way by a man.
The game often lets the player make the final choice in handling these situations, but the best option is usually to kill or neutralize the men in question. The sidequests involving men on the other hand often have them commit some criminal act which they need Adam's help with or must be held accounted for, though not always. It never goes so far as to imply all men are inherently bad and women are inherently good, but it'll still probably leave a sour taste in your mouth that the men tended to make a few more mistakes when compared to their female counterparts.
One thing I did notice was the game seemed to make characters more complex and layered than they first appeared. Some characters who didn't get along well with Jensen at first ended up being some of his closest allies and some who appeared friendly and caring turned out to be much more vile than first impressions would suggest.
All in all, I'd say the game is mostly fair with a few shortcomings, but has pretty well-balanced characters overall. Both the graphics and sound are top notch and the gameplay allows plenty of freedom for players to move along at their own pace. I strongly recommend this game to anyone who was a fan of the original or the sci-fi genre in general.
- Reviewed by Midnightundead
Rating: M (Blood, drug reference, intense violence. sexual themes, strong language, use of alcohol)